Regional Perspectives on Aid for Trade

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Deepening economic integration via regional co-operation has emerged as a key priority in the reform strategies of most developing economies over the past decade. This is evidenced by the explosive growth in bilateral and regional trading agreements in which they now participate. Regional aid for trade can help developing countries spur regional economic integration, enhance competitiveness, and plug into regional production networks.

Based on a rich set of experiences regarding regional aid for trade projects and programmes, the study finds that regional aid for trade offers great potential as a catalyst for growth, development and poverty reduction. The study recommends greater emphasis on regional aid for trade as a means of improving regional economic integration and development prospects. While regional aid for trade faces many practical implementation challenges, experience has shown that associated problems are not insurmountable but do require thorough planning, careful project formulation, and prioritization on the part of policy makers.



Regional aid for trade in a broader context

This chapter examines the diagnostics of regional aid for trade in the context of regional economic integration and economic development. It considers how aid for trade can help lift the binding constraints to trade, and in particular how regional aid for trade can enhance trade performance and foster regional and global economic integration. It also shows how regional aid for trade can help support the regional economic co-operation initiatives that have become such an important part of the commercial policy strategies of developing economies in recent years. In addition, the chapter analyses how regional aid for trade can support the “nuts and bolts” of regional integration, including through transit corridors, trade facilitation, and a trade-enabling environment.


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